Whiskey Rebellion

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Whiskey Rebellion,

1794, uprising in the Pennsylvania counties W of the Alleghenies, caused by Alexander HamiltonHamilton, Alexander,
1755–1804, American statesman, b. Nevis, in the West Indies. Early Career

He was the illegitimate son of James Hamilton (of a prominent Scottish family) and Rachel Faucett Lavien (daughter of a doctor-planter on Nevis and the estranged
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's excise tax of 1791. The settlers, mainly Scotch-Irish, for whom whiskey was an important economic commodity, resented the tax as discriminatory and detrimental to their liberty and economic welfare. There were many public protests, and rioting broke out in 1794 against the central government's efforts to enforce the law. Troops called out by President Washington quelled the rioting, and resistance evaporated. Nevertheless Hamilton sought to make an example of the settlers and illustrate the newly created government's power to enforce its law; many were arrested. President Washington pardoned the two rebels who were convicted of treason. The tax was repealed in 1802.


See L. D. Baldwin, Whiskey Rebels (rev. ed. 1967); W. Hogeland, The Whiskey Rebellion (2006).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Whiskey Rebellion


an uprising in 1794 of US farmers against oppressive taxation. The rebellion was in part caused by a law the American Congress passed in 1791, at the initiative of Secretary of the Treasury A. Hamilton, establishing an excise on grain liquor. The farmers of western Pennsylvania refused to pay the tax and drove the collectors away, killing several of them. In the summer of 1794 the rebels created leadership bodies—committees of correspondence—which urged resistance to the authorities. A meeting in Parkinson’s Ferry in August 1794 took up the question of creating a committee of public safety and transferring all power to it. The rebellion was suppressed in the autumn of 1794 by 15,000 troops under Hamilton’s command.


Rochester, A. Amerikanskii kapitalizm, 1607–1800. Moscow, 1950. (Translated from English.)
Baldwin, L. D. Whiskey Rebels. Pittsburgh, Pa., 1939.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

Whiskey Rebellion

uprising in Pennsylvania over high tax on whiskey and scotch products (1794). [Am. Hist.: NCE, 2967]
See: Riot
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Much of the telling goes over well-trod ground, but the section on the Whiskey Rebellion, especially, offers an interesting and detailed discussion of the events leading up to the successful mobilization of the militia to put down the rebellion by the Washington administration.
Though the whiskey excise tax was ultimately repealed, its implementation and the ensuing Whiskey Rebellion solidified the federal government's authority over citizens in the various states in the country and set a precedent for how acts of rebellion would be dealt with to preserve the nation.
The Whiskey Rebellion had another affect besides establishing the government's power over national alcohol makers.
The Whiskey Rebellion as it is known required President George Washington to dispatch Federal troops to quell it.
The context of the speech was the so-called Whiskey Rebellion, when the 62-year-old president squeezed himself back into his old military uniform and, at the head of 13,000 troops, rode into western Pennsylvania.
He had put down the so-called Whiskey Rebellion in Pennsylvania, he had signed the unpopular Jay Treaty with England, he had backed the much criticized financial program of Alexander Hamilton.
Raphael separates the stories of Hamilton's funding scheme, the Whiskey Rebellion, the Democratic Societies (Genet is totally absent), the Proclamation of Neutrality, the Jay Treaty, and the Farewell Address.
Rikard (American and twentieth-century literature, SUNY-Sullivan) examines the dichotomy of characters, starting with some background on the Whiskey Rebellion, and an archeology of authority and Appalachia.
Civil disobedience in resisting the tax and the "Whiskey Rebellion" of 1794 are explored in that context.
By contrast, Hamilton's enemy in Washington's cabinet, Thomas Jefferson, in a 1794 private letter to James Madison, dismissed the "Whiskey Rebellion" as "anything more than riotous"--a matter for local police.
Their historical antecedent is America's anti-revenue Whiskey Rebellion in 1794, not the original anti-British, pro-representation Boston Tea Party in 1773.
Dallas, who was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1759, participated in the crushing of the Whiskey Rebellion in 1794, served as Secretary of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, U.S.